Radiation Safety


The Radiation Policy Committee has approved procedures that restrict the receipt, use and disposal of radioisotopes at the University of Michigan to ensure regulatory compliance with state and federal laws. These procedures require completion of applications, reviews by various safety and health committees, approvals prior to procurement and use and ongoing inventory control after receipt. Applicable forms are located under the 'Forms' link on the left side of this page. Contact RSS with any questions regarding these forms.

All radioisotopes used on campus are tracked through an inventory system managed by Radiation Safety Service. The inventory system ensures that users receive only those materials for which they are properly approved, trained, and equipped to receive and use. In order to maintain these controls, users must adhere to a number of general requirements:

  • Contact and obtain RSS approval for all radioactive material orders, transfers, and shipments. Users must obtain clearance from RSS before ordering or procuring radionuclides from another institution, commercial vendor, or authorized user. See the link at the end of this page for detailed information on purchasing radioactive materials.
  • Notify RSS prior to procuring generally licensed devices that contain radioactive material. RSS is responsible for ensuring such devices are properly labeled, inventoried, leak-tested, and/or disposed as radioactive waste. Such objects include: liquid scintillation counters (LSC), static eliminator devices (air guns, bars, brushes, plastic rods), exit signs containing tritium (H-3), smoke detectors, G-C/ECD devices, etc.
  • All radioactive materials received at the U-M must be shipped to RSS for inventory, initial radiological surveys, and eventual distribution. Contact RSS for exceptions to this requirement or to arrange special-case shipments.
  • Users must open, inspect, and survey radioactive materials packages as soon as possible after receipt in the laboratory. Perform contamination surveys of radioactive material packages using smears or an appropriate radiation survey meter. Maintain documentation of all such surveys for inspection. Contact RSS immediately (764-6200) if you suspect the package or the package contents to be contaminated or if the package does not contain the correct amount or type of material ordered.
  • Any radiation symbols, labels, markings or wording must be completely defaced or removed from the shipping carton prior to discarding in normal trash or recycling stations. DO NOT recycle or discard in ordinary trash any package or container found to be contaminated. Contact RSS for assistance.

Procurement of Radioactive Materials